The holidays are a big time for engagements, so in honor of many of you getting engaged over Christmas and New Year’s and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner we wanted to put together a quick guide on what to do next. Since you’re here, you have probably decided to have a destination wedding. Congratulations! Now that you’ve made that all-important first step, you may have a ton of questions, like “where do I start?” “How do I choose a resort?” “How can I plan a wedding in a place I’ve never been?” “How can I have a fabulous destination wedding for less than $10,000?” and more. You’ll quickly learn that the internet is going to be your best friend while planning, and to make things even easier, we’ve created a list of the top 5 online resources for planning your destination wedding. From advice to inspiration to budgets, we’ve got it all covered here! Just please don’t blame us if you don’t see your friends or family for a while because you’re having too much fun browsing these sites.
Well the good news is you’re already here, so kudos to you for being well on your way to planning the destination wedding of your dreams! This site is an amazing resource for all destination brides, particularly those who won’t be visiting their venue prior to the Big Day. BDW takes the guesswork and fear out of planning a wedding from thousands of miles away by enabling brides to get firsthand experience and advice from other brides. You can share tips, tricks, templates, do’s, don’ts and everything in between. We dare you not to spend hours on here each week.
Confession time: some of us at BDW* started wedding inspiration boards on Pinterest several months before we were officially engaged. Sure, we were worried that our friends would think we were crazy and presumptuous, but that didn’t stop us. If you’re in the same boat, or even if you’re officially engaged, Pinterest is a mecca for wedding inspiration. If you’re willing to put in the time (and you will be, it’s addictive), you can create amazingly curated wedding inspiration boards and plan your wedding to the finest detail. We’re talking dress ideas, photography inspiration for your engagement and wedding photos, stationery ideas, food/menu suggestions, and décor ideas times a million. Plus, BDW has a piece of the Pinterest pie and is now pinning, so don’t forget to follow BDW on Pinterest. Let us now introduce you to Pinterest’s cousin, Etsy. If you see something on Pinterest, the odds are good there’s a vendor on Etsy who sells that particular item. If Pinterest is the inspiration, Etsy is the execution. Search for what you’re looking for or just get lost by starting in the weddings section and seeing where it takes you.
If you’re planning a destination wedding, chances are you’re going to be DIYing at least some aspects, whether it’s stationery, bouquets or décor. Wedding Chicks offers inspiration and ideas for all of the above plus the usual wedding blog fare like sections on vendors and real weddings. But what we’re really swooning over are the amazing free downloads and printables. Choose from several patterns to create a coordinated suite of paper items including monograms, save the dates, invitations, escort cards, menus and more. Did we mention it’s FREE?!
You’re not a dummy. You’re probably already familiar with crafting and wedding queen Martha Stewart. Whether you’re getting married in your hometown or on a sandy tropical beach, Martha Stewart Weddings is a staple for brides, and with good reason. We love her ideas, free clip art and templates and just the general Martha-ness of it all, but what keeps us going back is her Destination Wedding section where you can view gorgeous pictures and information from other destination brides. You can even browse by geographical area, so if you’re still trying to choose a location, check out a few real weddings from different areas to help you make your choice!
Did you know the average wedding now costs over $25,000? With many brides turning to destination weddings as a cost-cutting measure (not having to invite everyone you know is just icing on the cake!), this blog can help you bring down your overall budget even further. They offer several great tips on how to save money through DIY (did you know you can design and engineer your own uplighting? Yeah, neither did we!), tips from former brides who’ve planned weddings on a budget (you can even browse by wedding budget if you have a strict maximum) as well as coupons, deals and discounts that you can use on things you’ll need for your wedding.
There you have it—our top 5 picks for online resources to plan your destination wedding. We’d love to hear your input too! Did we forget a site that’s been key in your planning? Let us know! Also, if you have a holiday engagement story, don’t forget to share it in the forums!
*OK it was me. And no, none of my friends/Pinterest followers believed that my “party” board was just for parties.